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At the end of each year, it is common practice to reflect on your business’s overall performance. Determine what strategies worked and what didn’t. What went wrong? How can you improve in 2018?
As a blogger, your performance review will be centred mainly around traffic growth and ad revenue.
Was 2017 a good year? Maybe your content was stuck on a particular strategy that didn’t yield the results you were expecting.
Blog posts should be rotated regularly to interest different types of readers and a proper strategy ought to be adopted for this purpose.
In this article, we discuss five different types of blog posts that will attract more visitors to your website and hopefully, kick off a promising year for your blog.
1. Tutorials and How-To Posts
How-to posts are quite possibly the most effective of all blogging archetypes. Pause for a second and think about it; what is the main reason most people visit the web?
True, it could be to catch up on Trump’s latest antics or learn the final score of a football match – maybe even to identify the attractive actress we saw on an episode of Black Mirror.
Most of the time, it’s to learn something new, like how to check the pressure of our car tyres, winterise the home, or learn more about hosting options online.
As a business, this one reason can inform your blogging strategy. Being a solutions provider always attracts people.
Your existing customers and prospects are just the same. They have a pain-point that needs to be solved. Sometimes, this is as simple as creating a step-by-step post that takes them through the answer to their problems.
Many bloggers and business owners fear that the how-to post will lead to their customers not needing their services anymore.
In truth, if a two-minute video or 700-word blog post can make your services unwanted, then you need to rethink your entire business model.
List posts are powerful because they simplify information into a numbered list that makes it easy for customers to read, share and practise.
‘Listicles’, as they are often called, address our need to find the right information in the shortest possible time.
Another advantage of list posts is that they break an otherwise lengthy article into short, salient points. This gives the reader a subtle estimate as to how long reading the article will take.
This is perfect for online content, because most web users are very impatient.
While some bloggers will argue that listicles are overdone, it doesn’t change the fact that it is a successful blog post strategy. This is the model behind Buzzfeed’s success.
Stuck for ideas? Visit any newsstand at the airport or train station and look at the cover stories of major magazines; 7 Workout Techniques for Washboard Abs, 10 Habits of Savvy Savers or 5 Signs That You Need a New Car.
3. Checklists, Cheat Sheets and Daily To-Dos
Sometimes, your audience might be looking for some direction from you.
If you manage a brand, you don’t need to put up branded articles all the time. Find out common challenges of your target audience and guide them along the right track.
Although not very different from how-to posts, checklists focus on helping the reader to do something more efficiently.
A good example of this is the blog post, Office Team-building Retreat; A Checklist of Everything You’ll Need. HR managers will find this post very helpful for their trip.
If you want to win the hearts of more readers, add a printable PDF version of your post.
Unlike typical How-to posts, checklists can be used in real time. They act as a guide for an event. You may choose to brand the document with your logo or send it as a newsletter attachment.
The web is essentially a directory for information seekers – from people who are unsure of what products to buy to those looking for a good book or a food recipe.
You can capture a chunk of this audience by making their search easier. This is what review posts do.
There are two types of review posts:
- A straightforward product review
- A comparison of multiple related products
Several blogs have built a strong business from product reviews alone.
It is the concept of sites such as Yelp and Trust Pilot. Your blog post can be a review of a new tech product, book or even a diner you visited in the Maldives.
Note however, that when you review products regularly on your website, you might in turn receive free, unsolicited samples from brands seeking exposure. So, be prepared for freebies.
Dushyant Joshi, Digital Marketing Manager at Umbrellar, believes that more bloggers are using this strategy to become authorities in their niche.
“People associate review sites with expertise, especially if the products are a fit with their industry,” he says.
5. Controversial Posts
Many people will agree that controversy sells. Artistes like Lady Gaga and Kanye West are no strangers to this strategy.
The same can be applied to content production. However, it doesn’t mean you should go about posting ‘zingers’ just for the sake of it. Your post should have a purpose.
Controversial articles are meant to spark conversations that inspire learning points for various audiences.
For example, in the wake of the #MeToo campaign that swept Hollywood last year, some bloggers initiated discussions online where people could anonymously (or otherwise) share their experiences.
The goal behind this was to bring to light the sexist experiences of many women (and men) across various industries.
And how people could do better to prevent such occurrences happening in the future, as well as support those who were victims.
If you are going to write a controversial blog post, be prepared for some angry comments from ‘faceless antagonists’. Don’t attempt it if you don’t have a thick skin. Caveat emptor.
6. Types of Blog Posts: Resource Posts
Resource posts are incredibly helpful for any audience when compiled properly. These are posts that contain a list of articles created by other people with regards a specific topic.
The reasoning behind such types of posts is that you have removed the legwork for your audience by bringing the best content about a topic in one place.
This means that you need to thoroughly research the post to be sure you have captured everything. A good example of a post in this category is one with the title ‘The Best Fitness Articles You’ll See This Week’.
A note of caution though; you cannot just post links to content elsewhere. You will be doing your brand a disservice in the eyes of the search engines and your target audience.
Read the post contained in each link and provide a summarised and insightful commentary that will not only show you have indeed read the post, but also tell your audience if the link is worth their time.
Apart from generating traffic, resource posts also offer you a great opportunity to forge a relationship with influencers within your niche.
Your mention of their content could be all you need for them to reach out to you!
As the New Year unfolds, prepare a new content calendar to guide your blog posting schedule and decide a rotation strategy for each of the above 6 types of blog posts.
Conduct a review at the end of the first quarter and see how traffic volumes compare with today! 🙂
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James Cummings is a leading digital marketing expert, brand analyst and business psychologist. He’s an experienced senior manager who has worked closely with global brands to deliver staffing solutions. He has interfaced at board level with FTSE 100 companies and successfully managed multiple web projects across different niches to their full cycle. Working with a team of top level digital media professionals from around the globe, James’ WordPress portfolio currently spans over 40 properties.